Tuesday, June 18, 2013

[Driven] The Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid. Not every hybrid is a Prius.

Most of us petrol heads are afraid of the word "Hybrid", could it be because all we know about hybrid cars is that they trade performance for fuel economy? or maybe because all the hybrid cars we know are grandmother cars that are dull and only made to take us from a place another.

But suddenly this might change, when you introduce the word Hybrid, to Porsche.

Yes, Porsche. One of the world's finest sport cars maker who have made the Boxster, Cayman, and Carrera have recently introduced the power of hybrid engines to their cars where they can combine the power of a standard fuel burning engine, with a healthy and standalone electric engine to boost its standard performance.
We took the new Cayenne S Hybrid for a test drive earlier to check out how it can perform on the street, with ride comfort, throttle response, fuel economy, and handling.

The Cayenne S Hybrid has a 3.0L V6 supercharged engine that produces 333 horsepower, that gets boosted by a 47 horsepower electric motor. Which sums it all up to 380 horsepower, and 580 Nm of torque.

All of that power is combined with an 8 speed transmission, while the car weighs 10% less than the older model, which makes it perform better in terms of economy and acceleration. 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds (as claimed by Porsche), and it has a top speed of 242 km/h. which is quiet cool for a Hybrid SUV.

When you come to compare the hybrid Cayenne with the 3.8L V8 Cayenne S, the numbers are close! I mean, the Cayenne S produces 395 horsepower which is only 15 horsepower more than what the hybrid can do. So you can't go dissing the hybrid only because of an electric motor and being all green.

Having an active AWD system, and the added weight of an electric motor to this car, will make you think that it has gained so much weight, and it could affect the handling and the acceleration of the car by making it all heavy.

The new Cayenne active AWD system that drives the rear wheels, and transmits power to the front wheels is all done through an electronically controlled, map-based multiple-plate clutch, operating as a function of driving conditions.
The two main reasons for choosing this technology were the reduction of weight and the wish to make the new Cayenne even more agile on the road.

We took the Cayenne for a very short trip through Amman, to Airport road, and then to Al Qastal area where we found this kickass concrete factory and the owners were generous enough to let us use their location.

Inside the city, the hybrid system fits the best. You're only doing low speeds, get stuck in traffic jams, and not much throttle response is needed. The fuel consumption is at its finest, and there was no need to use the sport mode, or sport suspension.

The car's performance depends on how hard you go on the throttle. For example, The electric motor works alone at idle position, very low speeds, on the highway with no throttle, or if you're stuck in traffic.

When you go harder on the throttle, the supercharged V6 kicks in combined with the hybrid motor to give its full performance capabilities, and specially if you're on Sport mode, where the throttle response goes all sporty and wouldn't give you the feeling of driving a hybrid car.

So that's where you could feel economic on fuel when needed, and then be able to turn it up every once in a while.

The handling of the car was great, it remained as sporty as every other Porsche that we know. We were able to adjust the suspension to sport, normal, or comfort mode, also be able to bring the car lower, or higher. It was all controlled by a few buttons and knobs at the reach of your hand.

And again, it was a part of Porsche's weight-reduction plan where they were even able to decrease the chassis's weight alone by 33 kg!

Need to take it for a spin on the road and be able to take turns at higher speeds just like a sport car? No problem! Just bring the car's level lower, turn on the sport suspension mode and voila.

The Cayenne also has off-road capabilities with its active AWD system and controlled suspension, but only to limited conditions. you obviously won't go rock crawling with that thing.

The interior has many options that could be customized just for you. The 2nd generation Cayenne's center console was redesigned to fit with the new fleet of Porsche cars.
It reminds us of the Panamera once it came out. What was also carried over from the Panamera, not just BOSE, but also the Burmester high-end surround sound system was offered as an option.

The gauges in the Hybrid differs from that in the other models through a number of technical details hybrid drive system.

We're not really sure about what to say about the exterior differences from other models, the Hybrid is almost the same beside the hybrid emblems on the side front fenders. We were able to take photos and look at the car from all angles and it'd still look good and attractive.

The car was fun to drive, it's appealing on the street and it was such a photogenic car. When Porsche offered us the hybrid for a test drive, we weren't excited as all other hybrid cars on the market were the same. But trust us, the Cayenne S Hybrid was different and you should definitely go check it out.

We hope you enjoyed the quality of the review and the pictures as we've been away for a very long time!
And as you can see, we've gone a bit wider to give you higher quality pictures ;) stay around for more articles this summer!

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